41 municipal employees protected with FR clothing

April 1, 2024

Heartland PPE program marks first quarter of success

A program offering high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) to municipal employees has garnered positive feedback and participation from across the region.

Heartland Energy launched its new flame-resistant (FR) clothing store program in January for utility staff who work on or around energized equipment. Eligible employees are provided a monetary allocation to purchase items of their choosing from the store. The initiative underscored Heartland’s commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of customer personnel.

In its first quarter, the store has seen an impressive uptake with 107 items ordered for 41 employees. Roughly half of Heartland’s customer communities are participating. 

The program, which offers a broad range of FR options, has received praise from recipients.

Paul Kosel, metering technician for the city of Groton, SD, purchased a vest and hi-vis light jacket through the program. He emphasized the importance of having PPE when working around unpredictable equipment and commended Heartland for providing essential gear.

“In my position, you never know when you have to pull a meter or open a transformer. I’ve had a meter ‘bark’ at me more than once,” he said. “It’s an excellent program and I hope people who don’t have FR clothing utilize it.”

Similarly, Justin Holmes with the city of Valentine, Nebraska praised the program and Heartland for keeping utility workers safe. As electric superintendent, Holmes has daily exposure to energized equipment and understands having the right gear is crucial.

As the program approaches the end of its budget allocation, Heartland Customer Relations Manager Kelly Dybdahl urges eligible employees to take advantage of this opportunity before the store closes.

“The response we’ve seen thus far reinforces the importance of being proactive about safety in high-risk environments,” he said. “We are thrilled to see so many employees benefit from this program.”

Information about the launch was sent directly to eligible employees in January. Questions may also be directed to Dybdahl at 605-256-6536.

Heartland customer employees and PPE recipients Paul Kosel from Groton, SD, Justin Holmes from Valentine, NE, and Jesus Montemayor from Madelia, MN.
Heartland customer employees and PPE recipients Ty Tinant from Valentine, NE, Wiatt Hively from Madison, SD, Mitchell Wieser from Langford, SD, and Stetson Kaufman from Valentine, NE.